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on 24 October 2007
If you're looking for a juicy lesbian love story, you should really go elsewhere. While Kim and Sugar's unfolding relationship is insightful and more than a little unconventional, I felt the book was more of a social commentary on class distinctions and the differences between private education and comprehensive.

Basically, Sugar is the stereotypical 'council-estate thicko', with no ambitions other than an easy ride in life through such ventures as sleeping with a minor celebrity and then selling her story to a national newspaper (she doesn't do it, but she states it as something she hopes to achieve).

Kim is from the quiet side of Brighton, in a detatched house with a detatched family, coping with an absent mother and an increasingly distant father.

Always living in the limelight of her best friend Zoe 'Saint' Clements, Kim's actually glad when dwindling finances mean she has to leave her posh school and attend the infamous Ravendene Comprehensive. This is where she meets Sugar.

The book is very character driven - don't expect tons of clever plot. It entertains and tests your tolerence for unlikely circumstances, but can sometimes leave you feeling lost or bewildered.

Burchill shows a decent understanding of modern teenagers; many young adult books by UK authors tend to write Americanised, overly mature characters that live unrealistically sophisticated lives, gloryfying school-days into something they're not.

The vacant but intoxifying Sugar will remind many readers of girls they knew at school; the so-called 'slags' or the 'chav' type that were rough but respected. And Kim herself is well executed as the mature-adult-inside-young-girl's-body character, wistfully watching the events of her new friendship unfold.

Lowlights include a lack of proper development - the Kim at the start of the book is similar to the Kim in the last chapter, and the identity of the girl Kim is seeing in the final few pages will leave some readers confused. The resoultion is understandable but unsatisfying.

Overall, it's an interesting read, but don't expect it to be a great help to teens going through an identity crisis, or a dramatic love story. It's a modern love story - no love involved, that is.

I rarely say it, but - watch the first season of the TV series. I prefer it.
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on 1 September 2006
What a contrast between the series and the book. The book should be highly praised in its own right, but the series really does it for me more than the book. It is far more descriptive and has a lot more heart to it and I like the way Kim and Sugar stay friends in the tv series instead of Kim going back to Saint just like that in the book. And I'm sooo glad Saint isn't the same as the one in the book in the series, shes a much better character for that she has real heart. I don't know the book is good, because its funny and twisted, but so is the tv series and you get much more emotion and you really feel for the characters. So I say read the book, but the series and the book have very few things in common, but if I had to choose between the two the tv series would win hands down every time.
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on 23 August 2005
I to watched the series first, and feel that i should have waited a little longer after it ended before attempting the book. I think i would have found it more enjoyable if i'd have separated the tv series story to the printed one as i did find the latter to be just as interesting just from a different view point.
It filled in some of the background information you didn't get to learn about Sugar in the series, the downside being that alot of the characters brought to life in the series were emitted in the book or turned up briefly in different situations. I found this abit of a let down but in book form made perfect sense.
I was interested to find that as an older reader the book still appealed to me when i discovered it to be different, and although disappointed by the differences, would choose to read it again on it's own merit, being brilliantly written and taking a view point that most writers are afraid to take.
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on 4 March 2010
When Kim's father makes her move from her posh girls school to the school full of trouble makers. Sure she's not going to fit in for being thought a snob, she's surprised when Sugar, the most popular girl at school, befriends her. As Sugar leads Kim down the road of alcohol and drugs, Kim experiences things she never has before, including feelings for Sugar. Is she falling for her new best friend?

I'm so glad I never really saw the TV programme before I read this. From what I know of the programme, some of it is different from the book, like Sugar's race for instance, which is a small but important part of the book. I'm not too sure if I liked this book. It was good, but I got annoyed Kim some of the time when she wasn't treated too well. I suppose heterosexual or homosexual, though, we all get a little blinded when we really like some, and make mistakes, so I can't really fault her too much.

It was sad seeing that Kim's home life wasn't too great, with her mum leaving home, but I got annoyed with how a lot of the book was of Kim and Sugar doing practically the same things over and over, and Kim agonizing over whether or not her and Sugar were an item. It was just all a little bit samey.

I don't really know what I expected, but the only thing that makes this lesbian fiction is the two girls, but it's a story all girls know too well, the only difference was that Sugar wasn't male. There isn't really anything on the hardships of being homosexual; there's no coming out to parents, no having to deal with homophobia, no being worried about what people will think. There is however a few occasions when guys like that the girls are kissing, which Sugar uses to her advantage.

The front cover warns that the book contains explicit content, but I don't know what was explicit about it. The sex was mentioned, some sexual acts were hinted at, but we never actually got to "see" anything, and there wasn't any detail. Compared to some other books, this novel is quite tame.

I don't think Sugar Rush was especially amazing; there wasn't anything all that special about it. However, it has spiked my interest enough for me to want to pick up the sequel, Sweet, to find out what happens later on to the main characters. Overall, an ok book.
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on 25 July 2015
I went into this book with an open mind after reading the mixed reviews. Bearing in mind I'm 15, the same age as the protagonists as well as the target audience, I feel this review will be more helpful to those within that target audience.

I found all of the characters to be rather immature and unrealistic compared to any fifteen year old that I know. Teens that I know simply don't talk like that, and it was frustrating to how immature they were. However, they were all likable enough, and the relationship between Maria and Kim is an interesting exploration of adolescent sexuality as well as growing up. I also liked the little peek into Maria's home life, as it explains a lot about her personality and attitude towards life.

I thought the plot started very strongly, with characters introduced at a good pace and new events taking place interestingly. However, it seemed to fizzle out about midway through the book. As other reviewers have said, a lot of the book is Maria and Kim doing the same things over and over again, which gets repetitive. The ending is also rather sudden.

I felt the plot and writing style were a bit at conflict with one another. While the plot is more suited to fourteen year olds and older, the extremely simplistic writing style and dramatic, predictable plot points made it more suited to nine or ten year olds. Thus, it's hard to recommend a suitable age for this book. I mostly read it because I'm a lesbian and I enjoy seeing representation in books. If you're looking for representation, go for it! If you're looking for a good book, don't bother.
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on 8 August 2005
I missed the first few episodes of the TV show and only started watching just after I had bought the book. While the book is very in depth about the circumstances of Kim's life, it tends to overlook what would seem more crucial to the storyline. The situations in the book seem sometimes quite far fetched and although the reader can sympathise slightly with Kim, I found it hard to connect with the situation. The book is very good, with lots of references to modern music and ideals of a 15 year old, but the TV programme is far more hard-hitting and true to life. For example, details of Kim's struggle to tell Sugar how she feels and the resulting relationship in the book seems all to easy, as if one day Sugar decides to play along. In the TV programme, the ups and downs of Kim's relationship with Sugar are true, I found myself really feeling for her, especially when Sugar kissed Kim in the club just to attract some boys...I must admit I actually cried, I felt that bad for her! The reason why I love the TV programme so much is because it is almost identical to a situation I was in a few years ago and the TV Programme justifies it perfectly, my heart breaks all over again when I watch it.
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This book tells the story of Kim, a smart but somewhat submissive girl who is forced to leave her private school and attend the local comprehensive where she falls in love with 'Sugar' , the beautiful , loud , vodka drinking queen of the 'ravers' .Add intoxicating language, highly relatable characters and a dreamy backdrop and you have one of the best books of the year. Try to read it in the summer.
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on 5 August 2006
I loved this book, it was believable, but unreal. Kim is living the Private school live when all of a sudden she's thrown into the Public school, where all the "bad" kids go, imeadielty her and Maria Sweet ( Sugar) become friends. With Kim going over to the bad side, this book is exciting, and funny.

I loved the TV show to, but there only similaritys are the names of the charecters.
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on 2 June 2011
I read this after seeing the TV series and was very pleasantly surprised. Supremely confident style, witty and no pretention. I've got a few friends who won't touch anything Burchill writes because they hate her reputation so much, but I think they've missed out on something excellent here. A big theme in this book is Burchill's hatred of bittersweet writing. I've always hated it too, the main reason being that it's always 10% bitter and 90% sweet. Whilst damning this, Burchill actually (I don't know if knowingly or unknowingly) creates the perfect bittersweet work by making it 10% sweet and 90% bitter. For me the "lack of character development" in this book was never a problem.

Burchill claimed she wrote this in 12 days, but we had to wait 2 years for the sequel Sweet, which for me was the biggest disappointment ever, although I see it's getting good reviews.
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on 14 July 2005
So, you've watched some of the TV series now you read the book, just like me, well dont expect the same! Where the tv storylines are purposefull with good strong scripting and a totally rewritten, solid storyline, this, the origional book has been written with far more depth and far less storyline. Its meant to be aimed at teens according to the blurb, well if these are mean't to be the thoughts of the average fifteen year old then most of them must have been to uni in an earlier lifetime first. The text meanders between a thin plot if any, and a continuous, annoying and seemingly endless series of overstated, comparisons and conclusions that could never have emanated from the average teenager, most of whom, in this day and age, are to be more noted for directness in speech and action whatever their background, and most of the thoughts in this book would seem to emanate and are expounded from a far higher plane.
As for sex, there is isn't any. The climax to endless days and weeks of adoring, hormonally driven frustration on kims part in her lust for maria explodes in a couple of patragraphs of descriptive dialogue which are akin to the old 'waves crashing on the beach' cover up, indeed I had to reread this bit just to make sure I was reading about the act actually having taken place, where was the passion?
In my opinion the TV series is far more entertaining and thought provoking and the humour and wittiness far sharper so read this book if you wish, but I'll bet you enjoy the series far more.
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